Posted by Mitch Goldman on February 14, 2007 
Awesome photograph, Jean-Marc!!! 338 MPH, tr�s impressionnant! The US record is "only" 170.8 mph set in the late 60's with the UA Turbo Train - and still stands in the US. Must have been amazing to watch, thanks for sharing!
Posted by Andre from Germany on February 14, 2007 
Toutes mes félicitations ! Congratulations ! Nice picture too, must be a cool feeling when the train past the bridge where you were stand on !
Posted by apothequer on February 14, 2007 
Bravo pour cette belle photo , l'eclair ou plutot l'arc est parfait , en attendant encore plus la semaine prochaine , peut être le chiffre mytique de 600 en km /h Thierry Leleu
Posted by on February 14, 2007 
Very impressive indeed. The shock wave and the aerodynamic wind have literally lifted up the bridge under my feet. Such pictures will probably be much more difficult to take during the next test runs, if not impossible, because at higher speeds it will be too risky to stay on bridges in case the catenary line breaks. Yesterday, police surveillance and guards were already a bit nervous, asking to get away from bridges.
Posted by SDrailfan on February 14, 2007 
So the record was finally beat. That would have been sweet to see. Wish I was there.
Posted by Patrick on February 14, 2007 
That's a great photo. Love the big spark on the contact shoe. I can see they have increased the overhead contact line voltage for the test, or is it normal for high-speed lines in France ?
Posted by on February 14, 2007 
Yes Patrick, you are right. The usual voltage is 25000 volts, either on high speed lines or on most divisions of the French system which were electrified after the mid 1950's or so. However, this is an exceptional rest. For these experimental conditions, they have increased the overhead contact line voltage to 31000 volts so as to provide more power to the train. But still, there is something special about the catenary hardware over the race track (track #1 only): the contact line is made of a special, more resistant metal, and it is much more tightened than usual, so as to resist to the formidable upward mechanical pressure of the contact shoe. Upward pressure increases with speed. Catenary failure is one of the main concerns for such tests. Other than this adaptation for the speed tests, the entire LGV East Line is fitted with a catenary which can support commercial speeds of 350 kph / 217.5 mph (or more in a late future). The intervals in between catenary poles are shorter than on other, older LGVs.
Posted by Dean Kaplan on February 14, 2007 
Very cool that the highspeed world record on rails was broken by this train going 338mph. Great shot Jean-Marc!!
Posted by carletonm on February 14, 2007 
The official record is stated as 553 km/h (old record was 515.3 km/h). What is this "miles" business? France does not use "miles".
Posted by Ross Fotheringham on February 15, 2007 
Nice job getting a clean shot within all those wires.
Posted by Ian Edge on February 15, 2007 
Terrific photo Jean-Mark , 338 miles per hour. It appears the train running on the wrong line , i.e. on the right track. Was this specially for this test run ? Best Regards , Ian L.Edge England
Posted by steamer on February 15, 2007 
A capturing of a significant moment, like many others in your photos. Your photography - all your pictures posted on this site - is a collection of masterpieces of art. I'm amazed. Very beautiful.
Posted by on February 15, 2007 
There is no "right" or "wrong" track on LGVs (High Speed Lines). Both tracks are equipped for trafic in any direction.
Posted by on February 15, 2007 
Answer to Carletonm's comment: This was not “official”. In the absence of any press release from the SNCF, we know the speed by word of mouth and by a leak in the press. It is even said that the true top speed was 554,3 km/h (344.4 mph). The SNCF authorities wanted to keep the information under control. But this is almost impossible in an "open" society, with so many people contributing to the tests. SNCF commented that the speed was not ratified (no bailiff to officially record the speed). These tests are just exploratory and a preparation for the official record run which will take place with the media and a lot of VIPs, most probably on April 4 or 5. Target speed is 570 km/h (354 mph - sorry, I translate into mph). We cannot speculate about more than that, because SNCF, ALSTOM and RFF are exploring an unknown territory and they do not want to take any risk, an accident would be a terribly bad publicity just weeks before the commercial opening. However, we all dream about a surprisingly high speed…
Posted by Bicot (Marc Caya) on February 16, 2007 
Bravo Jean-Marc et bravo � la France! ;-)
Posted by Morten Sandvad Jensen on February 19, 2007 
To the last comment by Jean-Marc Frybourg. 570 km/h will also bring the World speed record back to a "real" train, steel wheels on steels rails versus maglev or? the hp/weight ratio must be very high. a truly amazing achievement and a great shot... hope to see some more pictures from the record run...
Posted by hava arifi on September 2, 2011 
crystal clear beatiful photo, so sharp what a fun website
Posted by N Kent Loudon on July 18, 2017 
It amazes me that despite 21st-Century technology, the basic principal of ties embedded in crushed-rock ballast still remains as the most advanced system of track support. About the only technological changes in over 100 years are concrete ties and continuous rail.
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